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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good original DJ, a bit frayed on the edges, slightly darkened, very good green cloth gilt binding, all pages clean and unmarked, no inscriptions. 389 pages, illustrated
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Kill Devil Hill: The Epic of the Wright Brothers, 1900-1909 Hardcover – Dec 1979

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389 pages, illustrated

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Exposing the true genius of the Wright brothers 10 May 2007
By J. Green - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Everyone knows OF Wilbur and Orville Wright, but few know much ABOUT them and the true genius of their accomplishments. In the late 1970s, accomplished pilot Harry Combs realized that the general view of the Wright brothers was that they were "tinkerers" who ran a bicycle shop and barely stumbled into the air ahead of their competitors. Unfortunately, 30 years later, that view probably hasn't changed much. In this book he set out to set the record straight and explain why theirs was a rare genius equalled by very few others in history. The Wrights, who came from a close-knit and supportive family, were intrigued by stories from Europe of Lillenthal and others who were attempting "heavier than air" flight (and often dying in the attempts). Wilbur began contemplating the possibilities and together the brothers commenced experimenting and testing the various conclusions and principles others had "discovered." Unfortunately, and here is one example of their incredible intelligence, the Wrights learned that the generally accepted ideas of flight were usually wrong and they had to discover the true scientific principles of aerodynamics for themselves. Possessed of an amazing talent for mechanics and inventing they built from scratch their entire machine, including an engine to run it after their glider tests had proven successful. And in December 1903 on the sand dunes near Kitty Hawk, NC, after three years of experimenting, they were the first in history to achieve true flight (sustained, powered, and controlled), and later improved upon their designs to usher in the modern age of flying.

Mr. Combs does a wonderful job telling the story of the Wright brothers with detail. But most of all he points out the many traits and talents they possessed that made them uniquely suited to achieve such a lofty goal. They came from a humble and hard-working background and had an amazing sense of determination. Despite their limited education, they instinctively understood many complex scientific and engineering concepts, and when something wasn't available they were able to invent it themselves. But they didn't simply learn by trial and error, as many others tried to do. They would reason the challenges out between them, and their arguments with each other often ended with each arguing the other's initial point of view. But overall, they were men of the highest character.

My only criticism is that the book is often heavy on technical details that won't mean much to those who don't pilot airplanes. But the history of their struggles and disappointments and triumphs is truly inspiring. In addition there are a good number of historical photos included.
Absolutely the best book ever written on how the Wright brothers slogged ... 11 Aug. 2014
By General Phil Sheridan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely the best book ever written on how the Wright brothers slogged thru all the problems to make a glider and then eventually the Wright Flyer. But the most amazing fact was that Wilber wrote hand written notes to the Smithsonian Institute and received detailed replies about his questions! Image that today...".Your letter is very important to us."
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
get to the point 29 Mar. 2013
By gil comeau - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
he spends so much time fawning over the Wright Bros that it takes 55 pg to get to the actual technical problems they had and solved.
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